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From Dairy to Vegan Milk: Embracing a Healthier, Sustainable Lifestyle

Just imagine, no more creamy masala chai, because your body does not welcome milk anymore!  When your body is unable to digest the sugar (lactose) in milk, it initiates lactose intolerance. This is a condition in which an enzyme is produced in very miniscule amounts in the small intestine, making the digestion of milk difficult. This causes diarrhea, gas, and bloating after eating or drinking dairy produce. Therefore such individuals can partake in vegan milk.

Vegan milk is a non-dairy beverage that looks like milk and is made from a water-based plant extract. It can be sourced from beans/nuts like soy, almond, cashews, macadamia, oats, coconuts, hemp, rice, and even millet.  Most plant-based milks have about 37 to 75% lesser fat content and are thereby healthier options than milk. Vegan milk is free from lactose, casein, or any injected hormones or adulteration. It also has a good taste so your taste buds can be rest assured.

Varieties of Vegan Milk: A Nutrient-Rich Selection

Here are some varieties of Vegan Milk:

  1. Almond milk – This is a nutty-flavoured creamy milk, made with almonds, rich in Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Calcium.
  2. Soy milk – This is a sweeter milk, made from Soy, rich in proteins, and having better prolific amino acids.
  3. Oat milk – This is a slightly sweet milk having soluble fibers called Beta-glucans. It also contains Riboflavin, phosphorus, and other nutrients.
  4. Cashew milk – This is a milk that is beneficial as it contains cardiovascular healthy fats, Vitamin K, healthy fats, calcium, and potassium.
  5. Hemp milk – This is a milk that contains all nine amino acids, and potassium and has plenty of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
  6. Coconut milk – This milk is full of good fats, with a dash of copper and Selenium.
  7. Pea milk – This milk contains nutrients like potassium and vitamins A & D, for maintaining good cardiovascular health, and vision and enhances the absorption of nutrients.
  8. Pecan milk – This milk is rich in Magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Benefits of Switching to Vegan Milk: A Healthier, Sustainable Choice

Change is the only constant in life. Hence changing our lifestyle and food habits with time is required. The switch from dairy to vegan milk is loaded with benefits that make the process simpler.

  • Healthier: Vegan milk is healthier compared to dairy milk as it is plant-based, therefore there is no question of any discomfort like bloating, gas, nausea, and stomach upset. It is as creamy and frothy as dairy milk because it does not contain any cow hormones, fats, or cholesterol. It contains all the nutritious vitamins, is low in calories, has no cholesterol, and has 90% less saturated fat.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Vegan milk or alternative milk requires significantly less water to produce compared to dairy milk, which requires approximately 680 liters of water to produce just one liter. Additionally, the production of vegan milk leaves a lower carbon footprint compared to dairy production. Dairy industries consume vast amounts of water and emit more methane compared to other industries. Therefore, opting for vegan milk helps conserve water resources and promotes environmentally friendly production practices.

  • Taste: Vegan milk offers a creamy and delicious flavor profile. With a wide range of varieties available, it can easily enhance the taste of beverages like tea and coffee, as well as baked goods such as cakes.
  • Variety: Vegan milk comes in a diverse range of options including almonds, soy, oats, rice, hemp, cashew, pistachio, cowpeas, and moong. Each variety is rich in essential nutrients, offering a wide array of health benefits.
  • Harmless: Vegan milk is ethically produced in sustainable conditions, free from unethical practices such as the excessive use of antibiotics, artificial insemination, and poor living conditions commonly found in dairy farming. Choosing vegan milk helps promote animal welfare and contributes to the preservation of the cattle population.
  • Consumption: Vegan milk offers a healthier alternative suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance, milk allergies, and various health conditions including acne, PCOS, PCOD, IBS, and asthma. It provides a nutritious option for those seeking to avoid dairy products.
  • Nutritional Benefits: It has a lower sugar content and is beneficial in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. It has low-calorie content and less saturated fats. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and the goodness of fiber. It may aid in weight loss.

Diverse Applications of Vegan Milk in Culinary Creations

Vegan milk can be seamlessly substituted for regular milk in various culinary applications such as cheese, cream, yogurt, tea, coffee, shakes, cakes, sweets, ice cream, and curd. Its versatility has made it a popular choice worldwide, with the concept of vegan milk rapidly gaining traction

Soy Milk: From Ancient China to Modern India

History has it that the first documented mention of soya milk was in 14th-century China and by the 17th century, “milk” prepared from soybeans (doujiang) was a staple in Chinese cooking. Many Chinese people consume hot soya milk for breakfast.

Remember the tele-advertisement of Indian actor John Abraham endorsing ‘SOFIT”, natural soy milk? It is available in Regular, Chocolate, Vanilla, Mango, Kesar Pista, and Naturally Sugar-Free options.  SOFIT is one of the leading vegan milk brands in India.

The Rising Popularity and Growth of Non-Dairy Milk

As per a study by a nutritionist at the University of Virginia, the sales of non-dairy milk have more than doubled between 2009 to 2015. As on 2021 the non-dairy industry is worth $35 billion with an expected expansion to $123.1 billion by 2030.

Advisory: Whatever variety of vegan milk you opt for, it is advisable to always consume a small amount to check whether you are allergic to it or not. You can alternatively consult your physician before use.  Better to be safe, than sorry.

the aartery chronicles

Ms Rupal Sonpal

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